Revision: Jan. 25, 2017, 3:08 p.m.
HB 594-FN-LOCAL - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 594-FN-LOCAL
SPONSORS: Rep. Cote, Hills. 31
COMMITTEE: Environment and Agriculture
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
ANIMAL CRUELTY REGISTRY
651-G:1 Definitions. In this chapter:
I. “Department” means the department of safety.
II. “Division” means the division of state police, department of safety.
III. “Local law enforcement agency” means the chief of police in the city or town where the person resides or is temporarily domiciled, or, if the municipality has no police chief or if the person resides in an unincorporated place, the division.
IV. “Animal abuser” means a person who is over 18 years of age who has been convicted of cruelty to animals under RSA 644:8 or convicted of a comparable offense in another state.
V. "Conviction" means finding by a court that an individual is guilty of a criminal offense through adjudication or entry of a plea of guilt or no contest to the charge by the offender.
I. Every animal abuser who is within this state for more than 10 consecutive days shall register as required in RSA 651-G:3 with the county sheriff for the county in which the abuser is located.
II. The sheriff of each county shall forward all registration information obtained under paragraph I to the department of safety, division of state police.
III. Upon receipt of information pursuant to paragraph II concerning the presence of any animal abuser in the state, the division shall register such person and shall include the relevant information in the animal abuse registry system.
IV. Upon receipt from any out-of-state law enforcement agency of information that an animal abuser has moved to New Hampshire, the division shall register such person and shall include the relevant information in the animal abuse registry system.
V. The information that a person is required to register on the public list as an animal abuser, including his or her qualifying offense or offenses, shall be available to law enforcement through the offender’s criminal record and motor vehicle record. If an animal abuser’s obligation to register terminates for any reason, the department shall notify the division of motor vehicles of the change and the offender’s motor vehicle record shall no longer reflect that the person is required to register as an animal abuser.
I. Any animal abuser in this state for more than 10 consecutive days shall report in person to the sheriff of the county in which he or she is located. The animal abuser shall report in person as set forth in this section by the end of his or her 11th day in New Hampshire. The division shall notify the local law enforcement agencies having jurisdiction over the animal abuser’s other residences of the animal abuser’s address in their jurisdiction. Thereafter, the animal abuser shall report annually prior to December 31 of each subsequent calendar year for a period of 15 years.
II. Each time an animal abuser is required to report, the animal abuser shall provide the following information:
(a) Name and any aliases.
(b) Address of any permanent residence and address of any current temporary residence, within the state or out-of-state, and mailing address. A post office box shall not be provided in lieu of a physical residential address. If the animal abuser cannot provide a definite address, he or she shall provide information about all places where he or she habitually lives.
(c) Name, address, and date of any employment or schooling. For purposes of this section, the term “employment” includes volunteer work or work without remuneration. If the animal abuser does not have a fixed place of work, he or she shall provide information about all places he or she generally works, and any regular routes of travel.
(d) Date of birth, including any alias date of birth used by the animal abuser.
(e) Social security number.
(f) Physical description to include identifying marks such as scars and tattoos.
(g) Telephone numbers for both fixed location and cell phones.
(h) Passport, travel, and immigration documents.
(i) A photograph taken by the law enforcement agency each time the person is required to report to the law enforcement agency under this section.
(j) A set of major case prints, including fingerprints and palm prints of the offender.
(k) The offense for which the animal abuser was convicted and the date and place of the conviction.
651-G:4 Change of Registration Information; Duty to Inform.
I. When there is a change to any of the information that an animal abuser is required to report pursuant to this chapter, the animal abuser shall give written notification of the new information to the county sheriff to which he or she last reported under RSA 651-G:3 within 5 business days of such change of information. In addition, any time an animal abuser changes residence, employment, or schooling, the animal abuser shall report in person to the county sheriff having jurisdiction over the animal abuser’s previous place of residence, place of employment, or school within 5 business days. The county sheriff receiving notice of the change of registration information shall forward a copy to the division within 5 days after receipt. The division shall notify the local law enforcement agency at the new place of residence, place of employment, or school, or the appropriate out-of-state law enforcement agency if the new place of residence, place of employment, or school is outside New Hampshire. The division shall include any new information in the animal abuse registry system.
II. Upon receipt of notice that an animal abuser has changed residence, employment, or schooling to a place outside New Hampshire, the division shall notify the appropriate out-of-state law enforcement agency of that information. Within 10 business days after reporting the change of residence, employment, or schooling to the New Hampshire law enforcement agency, the animal abuser shall report to the appropriate out-of-state law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the new place of residence, place of employment, or school. If the animal abuser fails to report to the appropriate out-of-state law enforcement agency the division shall maintain the offender’s information in the animal abuse registry system.
651-G:5 Availability of Information to the Public and Law Enforcement.
I. Except as provided in this section, the records established and information collected pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall not be considered “public records” subject to inspection under RSA 91-A:4. However, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit any law enforcement agency from making any use or disclosure of any such information as may be necessary for the performance of a valid law enforcement function. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit an individual’s ability to obtain access to the individual’s own records, or to limit access to a person’s criminal record under the provisions of RSA 106-B:14, including address information obtained under the provisions of this chapter.
II. The division shall maintain a list of all animal abusers required to register pursuant to this chapter. The list shall also include all animal abusers about whom the division receives notice pursuant to RSA 651-G:2. In addition to the information contained on the public list pursuant to paragraph III, the law enforcement list shall include all information reported to the local law enforcement agency or the department pursuant to RSA 651-G:3. In addition, the information shall include the text of the statute under which the offender was convicted and the criminal history of the offender. The list maintained pursuant to this paragraph shall not be available to the public but shall be available to law enforcement officials for valid law enforcement purposes.
III. The division shall maintain a separate public list of all animal abusers required to register under RSA 651-G:3 and any animal abusers about whom the division receives notice pursuant to RSA 651-G:2. The public list shall include all of the following information:
(a) The animal abuser’s name, aliases, age, race, sex, date of birth, height, weight, hair and eye color, and any other relevant physical description.
(b) Address of any permanent residence and address of any temporary residence, within the state or out of state.
(c) The offense for which the animal abuser is required to register and the text of the statute defining the offense.
(d) The date and court of the adjudication of the offense for which the animal abuser is registered.
(e) A photograph of the individual.
(f) The address of any place where the individual is or will be a student.
651-G:6 Rules. The department shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to forms and procedures for the administration of this chapter.
I. An animal abuser who is required to register under this chapter and who negligently fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
II. An animal abuser who is required to register under this chapter and who knowingly fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter shall be guilty of a class B felony.
HB 594-FN-LOCAL- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ X ] County [ X ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ X ] Criminal Records
This bill establishes a statewide animal abuse registry which requires persons over 18 years of age convicted of cruelty to animals, or convicted of a comparable offense in another state, to report in person to the sheriff of the county in which he or she has been located for at least 10 consecutive days. Annual reporting is required for a period of 15 years thereafter. This bill also requires the Department of Safety to maintain the animal abuse registry and notify local law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over the residences of persons convicted of animal cruelty.
The Department of Safety states it would require assistance from the Department of Information Technology to establish a computerized database capable of fulfilling proposed legislative requirements such as receiving data, proper storage, monitoring the reporting status of convicted animal abusers and alerting the appropriate entities as necessary, and notifying the Division of Motor Vehicles of removal from the registry. The Department of Safety estimates at least one Counter Clerk II position (Labor Grade 11) would be necessary to maintain the registry as well as process all registration forms and act as the liaison to county and local law enforcement agencies. Costs for this position would be $30,000 in FY 2018 (based on effective date), $51,000 in FY 2019, $54,000 in FY 2020, and $56,000 in FY 2021. The criminal record fund is funded through the collection of fees; however, the proposed legislation does not provide for fees associated with registrations. The Department assumes registry costs would be covered under existing funds collected through other fees. The impact to State, county, and local law enforcement entities would result in an indeterminable increase to expenditures.
The Department of Justice states it would provide legal counsel to the Department of Safety for developing the registry. Project-specific legal counsel is estimated to cost $55,600 (400 hours at $139 per hour) in FY 2018 and $56,000 (400 hours at $140 per hour) in FY 2019. There would be no fiscal impact to the Department of Justice upon project completion beginning in FY 2020.
Noncompliance with registration reporting requirements would result in criminal penalties that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems. There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures. However, the entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.
Class B Misdemeanor
Class A Misdemeanor
Average Civil Action
Routine Criminal Felony Case
It should be noted average case cost estimates for FY 2018 and FY 2019 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types. An unspecified misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor.
Public Defender Program
Has contract with State to provide services.
Has contract with State to provide services.
Contract Attorney – Felony
Contract Attorney – Misdemeanor
Assigned Counsel – Felony
$60/Hour up to $4,100
$60/Hour up to $4,100
Assigned Counsel – Misdemeanor
$60/Hour up to $1,400
$60/Hour up to $1,400
It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).
* The Council’s budget request for the FY 2018-19 biennium includes an increase to $300 per case for contract attorney misdemeanor cases.
Department of Corrections
FY 2016 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual
FY 2016 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation
NH Association of Counties
County Prosecution Costs
Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual
$85 to $110
$85 to $110
Department of Safety, Department of Justice, Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, Department of Corrections, and New Hampshire Association of Counties